As the state legislative session in Salem, Orgeon comes to an end, it’s time to wrap up a few things – time to shift our focus to the very local -?- (Sheriffs, County Councils, City Councils), as opposed to the somewhat remote (Salem). This means that for the next several months, the focus of activism in Oregon needs to be on the local. This is not to say that we’re giving up on Salem, on the contrary, any local successes we have will feed into the momentum towards nullifications at the state level!
As kind of an end-of-session wrap up, I’d like to just recap what has been accomplished here in Oregon:
The Drone bill
HB2710 and SB71 both passed their respective houses of the legislature – unfortunately, they were not signed into law, but at the next full session, they will be more likely to pass. These are bills that would extend the normal requirements for a mandatory warrant for the Federal Gov’s surveillance performed with a drone, as well as place controls upon federal drones in the state of Oregon. Hopefully, in 2015, it will get further, but just having it passed in both houses shows that there is enough courage to defy the feds, as well as respect for privacy rights here in Oregon.
The Pot bill
HB3371 was introduced in the House, and even got through committee. It was referred to revenue, and there it died. However, I think the bill will be back and will have more success in 2015; this is, after all, Oregon- and if there is one thing ‘we’ don’t like being last in line for, it’s pot. Washington has legalized it, and so has Colorado. Please understand, I am not condoning pot use, I am simply backing this measure because it is not a federal issue. Although I do not believe in prohibition, or government in control of consumption in any way (and of course I counsel my children against it), If there is to be prohibition laws, the legal way to accommodate these is at the state level (or through a constitutional amendment). This bill would have legalized pot use, and treated it as it does alcohol (although it added an awful lot of layers of regulation). I am still hoping for a pot bill that will not erect enormous amounts of government, but maybe we are not to that stage yet.
SB282 was again introduced in the Senate to nullify Obamacare in Oregon. This bill was unable to garner a single committee hearing, but if it had passed it would have made enforcement of any provisions within Obamacare a crime (even potentially levying fines and jail time against any officers or officials who attempted to enforce it). This bill did not make it far, but it took a lot of political capital to introduce it.
2nd Amendment preservation act
HB3006 – This bill was introduced in 2013, but like the Obamacare nullification, it was unable to get a single committee hearing. This bill would have made it illegal to enforce any violations of the 2nd Amendment passed at the federal level. This bill didn’t go far, but as with SB282… it took a lot of courage to simply introduce it.
When the Obama administration started making noise about gun control, several sheriffs in Oregon alone, stood up and made public statements. They sent letters to the administration, claiming they would not allow the feds to disarm the citizens of their counties. This is a great point to put at the end of the “good” list, because it’s what we will need to continue with. Over the next 18 months or so, there is virtually no chance of any nullifications making it through Salem- …mostly because the session next year is merely a budgetary session with a very limited amount of bill allowed to be introduced.
Going forward, we need to switch gears from making calls to legislators, to making calls to city council members, county council members and Sheriffs. Please show some of the 10th Amendment center model legislations to these people, and try to get them to introduce them! Remember, for each city council that passes a local ordinance in support of 2nd Amendment rights, and every county council that passes a bill making assistance in indefinite detention illegal, and for each and every Sheriff who unilaterally refuses to allow gun confiscations or registrations, the chances go up that when the time comes in 2015, Salem will have more courage… and will pass some of the nullifications that are introduced (not to mention, the improvement in liberty for the residents of the cities/counties effected).
Local action leads to statewide action. These things give cover to courageous legislators and intimidate cowardly legislators into acting in the interests of the citizens they purportedly represent. Also, as a whole, nullifications everywhere let DC know that their transgressions are not welcome, and that we the people are awake! Over the next 2 years, I would like to challenge every reader of this article to approach at least 3 of your local representatives – be they council members, judges, Sheriffs, etc… – to nullify some offensive federal overreach at the level of which they control. If we do this over the next 2 years, in 2015, The movement will be unstoppable!